Saturday, April 25, 2015

Blessed Death Into Eternity

“THE day of death better than the day of birth,” Ecclesiastes 7:1b tells us.
Fear is such a real, yet strange and irrepressibly evil thing. Fear is sin.
For every day of the year — a full 365 — we have a biblical injunction, “Do not fear!” The Greek is interesting. For instance, in Matthew 14:27 where walking-on-the-water Jesus said, “Take courage. It is I. Don’t be afraid.” The word for fear in Greek is set in the imperative — it is middle voice grammatically, but deponent, meaning it still has a strong, active voice. Add to it the strong negation — μη — which is the “don’t” part of the sentence. This “don’t” is not simply “don’t” but “don’t!”
Putting these two words together gives the Greek a very strong voice.
We are commanded to not fear. We are commanded, of essence, to take courage.
We are apt to get mad at God for ‘making’ us, or allowing us, to be fearful. It is actually the other way around. God should be mad at us! But God knows what we have to deal with; that fear is one of those things we can only conquer by faith.
We are not to fear death. We are not to fear not seeing our loved ones again. We are to have faith that God is entirely good and faithful to his Word. We do what we can do: Don’t be afraid.
Knowing the enormity of these truths is good. They smash our predilection for insipidly letting fear have its way. Fear is foreign to the Christian, but only insofar as they know its inherent inappropriateness. Of course, the Kingdom is set on plunging into fear on every scale to bring it captive to Christ.
Death we shall not fear,
What will happen to us once,
For what’s dawning is now so clear,
Despite the evil that hunts.
Death shall not take the soul,
Who calls on Christ their Lord,
The soul whom sees as their role,
To take loathsome life as adored.
Death has no power,
It really lacks every sting,
Let’s look forward to that hour,
When finally to the Lord we’ll cling!
And for those lost who are waiting,
In a place where waiting is joy,
They look forward without abating,
Whether they’re a little girl or boy!
Better is it to be born, into the rites of life, to suffer as a human being will suffer in this world, and yet to die once in order to be graced of the celestial voyage.
O God is good! Do not fear.
© 2015 S. J. Wickham.

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